What We Did
Protected key property alongside Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vermont.
Guarantee greater public water access and recreation for Vermont’s largest city.
Vermont’s largest city, Burlington, isn’t all that large. With about 45,000 residents and a relaxed vibe, it feels like more of a big town. Between the historic brick buildings, classic colonials, and the sweeping campus of the University of Vermont, there’s no lack of charm here. Add in an abundance of locally owned restaurants and shops that bring the economy together, and Burlington’s popularity is no surprise.
Perhaps what really makes Burlington so desirable, though, is its proximity to water. Running along its eastern edge is Lake Champlain, the biggest body of water in the state by a long shot. The lake also serves as a border between Vermont and New York State. Around town, numerous rivers and streams keep folks connected to nature.
Since 1991, Trust for Public Land has worked with the City of Burlington to protect these natural places and connect the community with them. We started by helping the City purchase 45 acres of land beside Lake Champlain from the Central Vermont Railway. The property, which includes an abandoned rail line, was protected with a mix of funding from the City and the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board.
In 2001, we teamed up with Burlington Bikeways, the Lake Champlain Land Trust, and the Winooski Valley Park District to create a new park along the Winooski River where it flows into Lake Champlain. Known as Mayes Landing, this 1-acre property is now a scenic park and resting spot at the end of the Burlington Bike Path. Along the way, we’ve also worked with Burlington to implement the Burlington Open Space Protection Plan, which protects the city’s most treasured open spaces and outlines a vision in which natural areas, parklands, and greenbelts are integrated into the fabric of the city so that development is linked to land conservation.
This little city is full of passion. And with that passion has come fruitful collaboration to protect the places that matter most.